Raw Material Matters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Abstract: Decisions by prehistoric peoples about which lithic raw material to use for tool manufacture and for what purpose
must have been circumscribed by many factors, tangible and intangible. In many assemblages different types of raw material
are present, some local and easily accessible and used for everyday needs, and others (some of which are not local) which were
used for particular purposes, most obviously blades which could be transformed into arrowheads or sickle elements, as well as
obsidian which in many assemblages is a non-local material. As lithic analysts we need to try to get to the bottom of the reasons
for the use of raw materials of different origins.
This paper focuses on why raw materials matter. Drawing on a number of published studies it summarises what we know about
the exploitation of raw materials by Anatolian communities. As well as looking at geographic distribution and possible trends in
source preference through time, it emphasises the need to embed raw material studies into the discipline of lithic analysis as a
matter of course. It also draws attention to the fact that lithic assemblages have tended to be treated in isolation, although they
are only one facet of the activities of a community. To interpret them fully we need to understand how they articulate with the
rest of material culture and socio-economic life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLithic Studies
Subtitle of host publicationAnatolia and Beyond
Place of PublicationOxford
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Raw Material Matters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this